Have You Played… Elite Dangerous?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I confess to not taking complaints that the Kickstarted Elite comeback dropped its promised offline mode seriously at the time. I figured a populated galaxy simply made sense – but I hadn’t entirely realised that this would make the main game a cutthroat universe of crime and punishment. I don’t have the kind of competitive nature (or, perhaps, simply the patience) that thrives in such a situation, and so my time in ED was so much shorter than I’d hoped. And I found myself dearly wishing there had been an offline mode.

Not that I’ve given up on it, however: it’s just that its purpose for me has shifted.

ED remains the most striking space experience I’ve ever had, partly because its art and sound design are so bang-on (at least from a spaceship fantasy point of view), and partly because it arrived at such a similar time to the first two Oculus headsets. This was the game that made the VR dream real, even if I couldn’t read any of the menus. I do expect to go back to it with Vives and Oculi once they’re released, though I won’t be getting involved in its long-haul travel, survival and politicking.

I’ll just sit there, in my cockpit amongst the stars, gazing at the stars and feeling as though I’m in my dream space game – even though I’m not.

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169 Comments

  1. DD says:

    I don’t think I understand this. If your worried about player interaction then why don’t you just play in private mode?

    • Zenicetus says:

      Probably because the Solo mode has so little to offer in the way of compelling content. Frontier has spent far more of its time developing content and features for the multiplayer side of the game.

      It’s why I haven’t played it much at all since it was released, even though I was playing it heavily during the Beta period. I expected equal attention to multiplayer and solo content. That just hasn’t happened.

      It’s a damn shame, because Elite has the absolute best feeling of climbing into the cockpit of a space fighter that I’ve ever experienced, even without VR mode… for the first 5 hours anyway. Then it’s either uphill or downhill from there, depending on how you feel about the multiplayer side of the game.

      • GenialityOfEvil says:

        This is very true. The only thing to aim for are permits but you earn them for their own sake. Other than the momentary wonder of seeing the Solar system 1000 years in the future, permits don’t unlock anything new to do.

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      • Scraphound says:

        Are we playing the same game?

        I can play online for months and never have a meaningful interaction with another player. If I even SEE a player.

        If I make a point to go somewhere heavily populated most interaction I have with fellow players involves them silently trying to kill me for no reason other than to kill me.

        I’m not complaining. I just fail to see what’s so compelling about the multiplayer experience.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Yeah same, I really don’t get what people are going on about. There is a couple of well populated areas you can go to if you want that sort of thing, otherwise, just stay away from there and you will rarely encounter other players.

        • Kally D says:

          And the arson for that is because there’s no upside to online play over solo, so no one uses it. Not even people that like the idea because it simply puts them at a disadvantage to solo players.

          • Cinek says:

            Current meta game is that you grind stuff solo and go for fun in multi.

        • Cinek says:

          Definitely the same game. Elite is a mile wide, an inch deep. Without other players this game got nothing to offer than a large, flat land.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        But the article is attributing that to lack of offline mode. How would that change anything? Offline mode would be exactly the same as the single player game without needing an internet connection, which this person clearly had anyway, because they were playing it online instead……..

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Save points.

          Plus a million other things online play cannot have for various reasons (security, “balance” etc, etc).

        • Cinek says:

          Offline mode means that you can go with your laptop anywhere and grind what you need to before going to have a proper gameplay in multi. Sadly Frontier decided to scam us weeks before the release, so… as Barber said himself: f*** you.

        • malkav11 says:

          An internet connection and functioning game servers. The latter is way more concerning than the former, although there are times when it’s also helpful to not need internet.

        • Premium User Badge

          Alpha1Dash1 says:

          Well, playing online-only throught FD’s servers means no user created mods, which is something I was looking forward to.

          I also feel that the existence of mods (and the ability to run your own server – both of which were promised) would have enhanced the game’s longevity. Freelancer (15yo game) has some public servers that are still going strong (well, going at least!) & only last year I was playing the “Discovery” mod on a friend’s server, until an ‘upgrade’ to win10 destroyed all the characters.

        • Eleriel says:

          all of the things mentioned already… plus an offline mode would/could open the door to modding, which worked wonders for freelancer’s longevity.

      • Rindan says:

        Pass whatever it is your are smoking this way because it is clearly the good stuff. There is almost no difference between solo mode and multiplayer mode. Even if you do go find other humans, there is no meaningful interaction you can have beyond killing people.

        Elite is absolute pure unadulterated shit when it comes to multiplayer game play. The absolutely most basic kinds of multiplayer options you would expect in a multiplayer game are absent. You can’t pay someone money to escort your trade ship because it is physically impossible to pay someone. You can’t trade stuff for that matter either. You can only just barely group with others. There are no player organizations that matter. Any attempt to exert the slightest bit of influence on the game in the small and pathetic way that you are allowed to, namely by randomly killing people that happen to be in the same instance as you, is easily thwarted by going solo.

        As a multiplayer game, Elite is unquestionably a big old pile of flaming dog shit. That isn’t to say that Elite doesn’t have its charms. It is very pretty, the flight model is pretty fun, and it jumps up and down screaming for you to play it in VR. In terms of multiplayer though, they have done the absolutely bare bones minimum. I have played mods to single player games that add multiplayer that have a better multiplayer experience than Elite. Elite is total and complete dog shit when it comes to multiplayer game play. Short of physically removing multiplayer, I actually can’t think of any way to make the multiplayer experience any worse. I dunna know, maybe they could pull out the limited chat options? Seriously, Elite’s multiplayer options are pathetic to the point of embarrassing. There are old zombie Doom servers that offer more meaningful multiplayer interaction.

        I literally can’t think of any other online only game that offers a worse multiplayer experience than Elite.

      • cpy says:

        There is serious lack of multiplayer content! You have nothing that will make you go team up and do stuff together except for the fact of doing stuff together. There are no wing missions, no events that you can’t do alone or stuff that is worth doing in team.

        Playing in wing actually punishes you for doing it. Unless you want to have fun with friend, there is absolutely no point in wings, except for non consensual PVP.

      • TheRealHankHill says:

        I have spent 20+ hours in solo mode and enjoyed every second of it

        • gabyhayes says:

          I’ve played 113 hours Solo for the most part I have played a little with a friend but its hard to team up and if one of us gets pulled out of system travel its hard to help the other out. We end up doing missions in the other direction.

  2. Iamblichos says:

    I tried to love this game; I really, really did. I had the same problems with ED that I did withe EVE Online, though, and a few new problems as well. The point of the game was learning to play the game; once you learn to play, the challenge is gone. ED and EVE have both responded by adding new systems to learn… and that works, to a point. But only to a point. It doesn’t take long for the paint to wear off and the grind to show through. ED feels even emptier than EVE – a truly ginormous galaxy, with a (relatively) small area of civilization surrounded by… nothing. Credit where credit is due, though – like EVE, it does produce some truly stunning space porn, both visual and written. So there’s that, I suppose.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Same here. I really, really wanted to love this. I tried too. But the game beneath the gorgeous art and sound is just too terrible to take on.

      The grind is insane, most ways to make money are as fun as watching paint dry, and it has the some of the worst mission design I’ve seen in a videogame, ever. By a big, big margin.

      Their pricing strategy and schizophrenic DLCs were the final nails in the coffin, for me. They can go suck a dick.

      Maybe I’ll play a few more hours when I get my vive, but that’s it. I was hurt by this one.

      • causticnl says:

        ED has no DLC’s. they have seasons, you dont have buy them, in that case you can still play the game.

        • Thurgret says:

          What a peculiar distinction to try to make.

        • yusefsmith says:

          Whats the difference between seasons and DLC?

          • PancakeWizard says:

            Season = you only need the latest release (in this case Horizons), and you’ve got everything.

            DLC would = you need to buy the ‘base game’ + Horizons.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            Which means you get the privilege of paying $60/year if you actually started playing when the game came out and want to keep up with the updates.

            It’s a great way to thank your fanbase, that’s for sure.

          • malkav11 says:

            It also means there will never be a version of the game that is both current and cheap enough to trial.

        • farrier says:

          Someone in their marketing department just had an orgasm.

        • Fiatil says:

          I don’t understand how someone can defend paying the price of the base game every year as better than DLC. I’ve never played a game, MMO or otherwise, where I had to pay $60 for the base game and the another $60 every year if I wanted to stay current on expansions. Even $30 per “season” if you play it every two years isn’t a great deal for a game that’s been out as long as it has.

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            keithzg says:

            In fairness a lot of classic MMOs have subscription fees that high or higher. EVE Online, for instance, is apparently over $130 per year, and that requires a full 12-month committment, the shorter the timespan paid for the more expensive it is: link to support.eveonline.com

            Frontier could release a new $60 “season” twice as frequently as they’ve done so far and it’d still be a cheaper equivalent. Not saying the content is necessarily comparable, I don’t know (I’ve never played either myself; I balk at the lack of player-built stations in E:D and the lack of wonder and immersiveness in Eve, to be honest) but in terms of sheer money they’re asking for versus timespan they’re asking it in, E:D is by no means off the beaten track of MMOs.

            And hell, it was the same thing Ubisoft was pulling for a while with the Assassin’s Creed games, and the same thing EA pulls with their sports titles. Again, not saying that’s a good thing necessarily (in fact it does seem like A Bad Thing to me), but it’s by no means unprecedented.

        • Procrastination Giant says:

          uhh, pretty sure they recently dropped the whole “season” pretense and switched to a traditional dlc system. Elite and Horizons are now independent purchases and you need the former to play the latter – the latter is also explicitly called “dlc” on their store and on steam.

          Of course that also means that the whole “you only need to buy the current season to have all the content!” comment further down isn’t really accurate anymore.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        Generally I like to try the “courier” missions, because I get to know new systems (which I love to do) and usually finish them, but my experience with missions so far goes like this:

        1) Try to find a station with jobs;
        2) from said jobs, which ones are obtainable;
        3) from the obtainable missions, which ones can I actually do;
        4) is that mission broken in some way?
        5) after everything above, I still hover my mouse above the mission trying to guess if it will worth my while (as in “this guy I need to kill, is he piloting a Sidewinder, or a damn Anaconda?”).

        And then I get back to bounty hunting if I’m in need of money, or selling cartographics, if I’m just trying to relax.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Yeah, I love EVE’s in depth systems and it’s crafting/trading etc, but hate the gameplay and mechanics. I love ED’s mechanics, flying the ship is so satisfying, but it has such little depth compared to EVE. A combination of the two games would be something I would play for a very long time I think.

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        keithzg says:

        Definitely agreed! That E:D and Eve both seem content to ignore the strengths of eachother means that I’ll probably continue to vaguely pine for such a game but never pay for either of these two.

        No Man’s Sky won’t really scratch the itch either, but it seems designed in a way that might make it the omissions less glaring, so that’s where I’m currently pinning my hopes for a game to scratch this itch I’ve been feeling ever since first thinking about what the future might hold for video games (which was intensified for me not with the original Elite games, but rather with Escape Velocity and how I then have spent the decades since imagining “3D modern Escape Velocity with multiplayer…”)

  3. Troubletcat says:

    Grabbing the popcorn for this one, seems like no mention of ED gets past without a bunch of real butthurt people in the comments.

    I think the game definitely has some unrealised potential, but on the other hand I’ve got a few hundred hours played, so it’s not like I can feel too hard done by. Claims that there’s nothing to do in the game or no depth strike me as utterly ridiculous.

    I’m excited to see what they add in the future. Maybe in a few years it’ll live up to all that potential.

    I think it kind of sucks offline mode was axed but I understand it. The shared universe stuff is a core aspect of the game. If you don’t like competition you can play in Solo and not bother with powerplay and such, and that stuff doesn’t effect you at all. It’s rough for people who don’t have a stable internet connection, but I get the impression a lot of those complaining are doing it for the sake of complaining.

    • jrodman says:

      Or maybe people complain because Frontier Developments actively destroyed their relations with various segments of the gaming customer base. That certainly couldn’t be why people are negative on them, could it?

      • TheRealHankHill says:

        Completely subjective, we will still be having fun in game. Later!

  4. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I played this for a couple weeks and yeah, the stress of losing your ships won through long grinds prevented me from continuing. I had planned on playing once more content had been added but then Horizons dropped free for new buyers but almost new game price for the old and all I could think was “Fuck that noise.”

    • unitled says:

      You can’t really lose your ship, though? As long as you have the rebuy cost in your account (can’t remember what it is off the top of my head) your ship is replaced if you ever lose it!

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        You have to buy insurance.

        • Minglefingler says:

          You don’t need to buy it as such, just make sure that you have enough to cover the cost of rebuying the ship at whatever rate of insurance you’re on. Kickstarter and beta backers pay less. Frontier also increased the size of the loan you can get to help cover costs to I think 600,000 credits which should keep you safe until you get into the bigger ships at which point you’ll have enough to knowledge to avoid losing your ship unless you’re careless or really unlucky. I’ve only lost ships to other players by being careless.

          • Kally D says:

            I think they’re taking about dong nothing but cargo hauling, spending 100% of their cred on trade goods then getting blown up without the 10% ship cost in pocket.

            First rule of ED, don’t fly what you can’t rebuy.

  5. Artist says:

    1.5 yrs after the “release” and the gameplay still sucks big times. Frontier is really good when it comes to the engine- and core stuff. But gameplay? Dear god, how they fail in that department. Huge disappointment.

  6. Kally D says:

    The biggest problem is that offline players can affect the world though influence of minor factions and powerplay, which really just destroys it.

    It means all the competitive portions of the game don’t revolve around players controlling sectors and combating each other and instead boil down to “who can be bothered grinding unopposed the most” which is pretty un-fun.

    I don’t care if offline players are allowed to get 5 fully equipped Anacondas a day, at least they might try to contribute to the community by going online sometimes.

    • causticnl says:

      the majority of ED players are playing solo or in private group. the moment you are going to trying to push them in to a certain gameplay they will simply leave. FD knows that.

      • Kally D says:

        It’s funny you worded it like that

        “the moment you are going to trying to push them in to a certain gameplay they will simply leave”

        If there is actually no purpose to online play at all, it makes solo play the only option which causes players that are interested in some level of human interaction to leave.

        My idea is to level the playing field and give online play a reason to exist, but unfortunately there’s been a lot of hostile backtalk from all the solo players which goes beyond irrationality. As soon as anyone wants to give online some kind of separation from solo the pitchforks come out.

        PS Hope I actually replied to the right thread.

        • Artist says:

          Of course, theres no need – or use – to online play. Powerplay is a joke in itself.
          The only reason for forcing you online is DRM. AS simple as that. Or have you seen a ripped, working version of ED anywhere..?

      • Asurmen says:

        I can’t say I’ve seen any info confirming who is playing what where.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      What community? It’s not EVE where everyone is on the same server, is it? And hell, EVE let’s you much about on your own as well, by and large.

      Why should they care about the “community”, really?

    • Jediben says:

      Another of Majinvash’s SDC ding bats I see. You must not realise that power play is utterly fruitless anyway and just acts as yet another grind mechanic?

    • malkav11 says:

      There are no offline players, because there is no offline mode. You’d probably have a lot less issues if there were because I bet most of those people would play offline if they could and not connect to your preferred mode.

  7. geldonyetich says:

    I really like the immersion of Elite:Dangerous and (speaking without the experience of using one) it probably is the best Oculus Rift game out there right now.

    However, it really lacks an end game, and the middle game isn’t so great, either.

    You grind credits to get better ships to grind credits. In my opinion, that’s wrong, the ships need to be a means to an end… but there is no end, just the ships. They’re marvelously well-simulated vehicles that take you nowhere because you really have nowhere to be.

    Power Play had a potential to introduce such a purpose, but it didn’t quite pull it off because it was ultimately just a bunch of repetitive activities. I didn’t feel like I was a badass space pilot, I felt like I was a participant in a charity run: how many ships can you blow up at 5 cents a ship to get to the fifty dollars that Felicia Winters needs to get herself a new star system? To make matters worse, there’s a bigger bonus to undermining the efforts of players, so it was easy to sabotage all that charity running.

    The Bulletin Boards should probably be tweaked so you can create your own missions to run at any time, because right now you can expect there to be nothing you want to do on them about 80% of the time, with laughably low payouts that make just going out and grinding more profitable.

    As Frontier continues work on this game, I hope they will resolve as many of these issues as possible, because it is a remarkably immersive experience that is just a whole lot of wasted potential so long as the ends are lacking.

    • xyzzy frobozz says:

      The biggest problem, in my opinion, is player agency.

      The best way to solve this is by allowing players to fill the big empty universe with stuff. Stuff like space stations and other “Player Owned Structures”.

      This would take the mission system out of the hands of the developers and put it firmly in the hands of players. My clan needs 60,000 units of a product to build its station. We put a mission up on the bulletin boards and players begin supplying our needs. We have now created traffic to our system. Pirates become aware of this and start preying on the traffic. Our enemies become aware that we’re building up and launch a pre-emptive invasion… and so on, and so on.

      Put the economy in the hands of the players and the game play looks after itself.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Player Owned Structures aren’t consistent with the network model, as I understand it.

        Like your ship, they wouldn’t be persistent across everyone’s separate P2P bubble, only the one you were in. Everyone with a shared P2P connection sees the same space station in a given star system, but the game will generate hundreds of other copies for players who aren’t on your shared P2P connection.

        So multiple copies of “your” station could be destroyed or taken over elsewhere and you’d never know about it. It just isn’t like EVE where everything is on one shared server world.

        • Stellar Duck says:

          That’s a hell of a design flaw though, in a game that they pushed so hard towards an online model that they ended up giving me and a lot of other a refund for ditching the offline play.

          • Cederic says:

            Yeah, it’s rather ironic that they failed to deliver a single player game and didn’t deliver a multi-player one either.

            It’s rather easy to mock them for this, but perhaps unnecessary; their abusive marketing model stands fully alone as a reason not to buy the game.

          • Zenicetus says:

            Well, it’s either a design flaw or a feature, depending on how you look at it.

            I believe that Braben & Co. didn’t want the game to be “EVE with joysticks,” so they intentionally used a P2P network model that prevents player control and blockades of territory and installations. As a non-subscription game, the P2P network model also means they have minimal server costs, but I think that’s just a side bonus. They wanted more control over the gameworld and an environment that wasn’t pure dog-eat-dog PvP like EVE.

            Unfortunately, with that particular model for producing game content blocked off, they failed (so far) at replacing it with compelling enough content in either the multiplayer or singleplayer modes. I know some people are enjoying it, but it could be so much more, with a core game engine this good.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Yea, I understand that they were not looking to replicate EVE.

            I don’t think anyone particularly wanted them to.

            As you put it though, they didn’t really fill the gap with anything. The P2P nature of the game killed any lingering excitement I had when I tried to accept the axing of the offline play and ended with my refund request.

            The bubble nature instead of the single server structure of EVE is why I think the game is a failure as an online game.

            Tried to play with a mate once. Couldn’t sort out how to get on the same instance or whatever you want to call it. And it leaves the world with no permanence. You don’t really see the same social dynamics as in EVE when you might never meet the same person again, depending on instance luck. In EVE I knew that at so and so gate I needed to watch out for this or that group as that was their hunting ground.

            The permanence was fertile ground for grudges, friendships, shared experiences, nonsense, dumb ways to die, urban legends, myths, stories and so much more.

            I get that they don’t want to be EVE with sticks, but shit, it’s a sterile game compared to EVE. It lacks with weirdness.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          “Player Owned Structures aren’t consistent with the network model, as I understand it.”

          They also aren’t really consistent with what Elite games are supposed to be, either. The day PoSs start appearing in game (unless they are ‘guild-owned’), is the day I think Elite:Dangerous is probably in serious trouble with player retention.

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            keithzg says:

            Guess I’ll keep waiting for a space game to play, then, because my personal requirements for being able to enjoy such a game are basically (a) flying around space itself is fun, and (b) players can meaningfully build in and affect the universe. Unfortunately, E:D has one of those and Eve has the other. I strongly suspect there are many other players like me who wish there was a game out there that actually combined these two respective strengths.

          • aepervius says:

            “They also aren’t really consistent with what Elite games are supposed to be”

            IMO X3 is more elite than than elide dangerous. It has all the dog fighting and you can have player structure and a story. ED at best in the very end is a very shallow exploration/merchant game with a bit of dogfighting component MP added. They made it up with the quantity what they could not have with the quality.

        • xyzzy frobozz says:

          That’s my understanding too.

          And it’s pretty much why I’ve given up on it.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Well they’re not even working on that aspect of the game anymore, so you’re gonna be left waiting.

      I have a suspicion that there’ll be one more DLC after horizons (plans aside, it only has so much legs, and they’re bankrolling both the game and the servers on the DLC cost, that pocket will empty) and the only hope is that it’s focussed on adding some gameplay to the game.

  8. Anti-Skub says:

    Yes I have. It’s not good.

  9. xyzzy frobozz says:

    The biggest problem with E:D, in my opinion, is player agency.

    The best way to solve this is by allowing players to fill the big empty universe with stuff. Stuff like space stations and other “Player Owned Structures”.

    This would take the mission system out of the hands of the developers and put it firmly in the hands of players. My clan needs 60,000 units of a product to build its station. We put a mission up on the bulletin boards and players begin supplying our needs. We have now created traffic to our system. Pirates become aware of this and start preying on the traffic. Our enemies become aware that we’re building up and launch a pre-emptive invasion… and so on, and so on.

    Put the economy in the hands of the players and the game play looks after itself.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      There are games that do this (Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress spring to mind). But Elite has been developed seemingly with absolute bare bones systems and intelligence in place.

      Pirates spawn infinitely and without logic. Pirates are all suicidal and never run, even if a sidewinder VS an Anaconda. Spawns in supercruise are even worse and the game does not “remember” their location, so logging on/off or jumping in/out and they all disappear. In fact fly too far away and things disappear.

      Even the current mission systems seem rather broken. With factions offering missions worth less than the fuel needed to complete them (hyperbole ;) ) for entry level missions, and needing a massive grind to get up to better ones.

      Which would be fine if half the missions did not bug out, or work perfectly but have zero description on how to complete them successfully. “Wait for contact”, means what? Where? How long? Waiting 3 hours and nothing happens, how is that a game or mission? :P

      Yeah, so much potential, but so broken. The flight models and environment if fine. The battles perfect. But the entire game smacks of “Multiplayer” as the focus in entirely there and not on the actual game play absent of PVP (or multiple PVE).

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        It’s just so barebones. I wanted to see the sort of gathering/crafting/trading depth of EVE, with the mechanics of ED. It’s just not close though. It’s just a mess of aimless flying around trading, aimless bounty hunting etc etc. It gets boring so fast.
        I wanted to be able to build an empire, X2/X3 style. Building production facilities, converting raw materials. Sending worker/drone ships out to mine stuff. There’s just none of that sadly. It’s 3 or 4 ways to play the game, all incredibly limited and shallow.

        • xyzzy frobozz says:

          It’s not as if the universe that they have created (simulated) isn’t big enough to handle all of that stuff, is it?

          • aepervius says:

            It is probably MUCH smaller than you think. If they are generating procedurally all of it, and it seems so from the description, then local instance need only to be refreshed from a very small set of numbers and equations. And that is why there is no persistence. And the “evolution” of faction is only a set numbers added on top of it.

            In other word all shallow , and no real evolution.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Anyone else have a weird sense of deja vu?

    • ButteringSundays says:

      The problem is that would require creating more than just an engine – which lets be honest, is all they’ve done.

      I’m not trying to be such a downer (and I do own the game) – it’s a wonderful experience for a dozen hours, but really that’s all it is. It’s ETS2 without any corners; if in ETS2 you had to physically drive to 4 businesses to find a mission you can tolerate.

      Whoever was in charge of adding the game bits to the game should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Artist says:

      You know youre describing the Star Citizen PU, right?

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  11. Crimsoneer says:

    I couldn’t help but find this was EVE without the community. And community is the only thing that makes EVE fun and not an endless grind.

    That said, it felt hugely immersive. I’m happy I bought it, and would love a decent story mode.

    • Kally D says:

      The reason that there’s no community is that open play is punished and solo play is rewarded. If there are no sheep for wolves to hunt, then there’ll be no wolves either.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        It’s also that other than pewing each other you have no impact on each others experience. In EVE even buying some random crappy cheap components involved someone making or looting them, pricing them, someone else trading and transporting them to the station you bought them from. Things that technically, *technically*, don’t mean anything, but make all the difference. You feel part of something in EVE.

        I’d actually love to play EVE again, I always burn out quick on it because ultimately you need to play with other people, and my lifestyle and gaming habits don’t allow for application forms and second jobs.

  12. IcyBee says:

    Uninstalled a few weeks back.
    Bored with upgrading my ship.
    Bored with exploring. Did stamp my name on a few things though.
    Auto-generated missions are crap – they require you to go to systems and hang about and if you’re lucky, your target might show up – just stupid.

    It is very pretty though, and the community missions can be fun.

  13. GingerElvis says:

    Been playing it since launch and still love it. It requires a bit of patience, particularly getting started, but it’s still amazing.
    It’s not perfect, but the devs are continuing to improve it.
    I play Elite more than anything else.

    • gpown says:

      what’s your favourite TV show to watch on the second screen while in supercruise?

  14. Napalm Sushi says:

    I think E:D’s issue for me was that, in its admirable and faithful fulfilment of the Han Solo fantasy, it illustrated that Han Solo and his ilk were basically just unscrupulous truckers. Like: the whole point of these characters was that, prior to The Call, they were cynical drifters leading dangerous yet unglamourous lives of hard graft and negligible agency. We weren’t supposed to envy them.

    No Man’s Sky’s promised vibe of arcade-ish Spaceman Spiff escapism (and past experience of such, in the likes of Outer Wilds and Starbound) has made me realise that that’s what I actually want from an open space sim.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      but space trucking is fun when it’s punctuated by moments of peril and the ensuing heroics. I want to play Firefly, not Galactic Truck Simulator. Because unlike Earth, most of space is dreary as shit.

      • BadCatWillum says:

        “Imperilled Space Trucking” sums up pretty much how I like to do the trading parts of ED – flying a woefully underarmed large freighter into areas where I know there are going to be player pirates trying to boil me for my cargo or just for the laugh. Maybe it’s from watching Fury Road. I had a couple of close calls during the recent LHS 3447 Community Goal where fangs-out Fer-de-Lances interdicted me and I had to flee to hyperspace before my engines were shot out from under me.

        I also like to be on the other end of the plasma accelerators occasionally…

    • Iamblichos says:

      Totally agreed. I am seriously chuffed for NMS… while still realizing that it isn’t going to be the game I am dreaming of, because no game COULD be that game. I can’t help but hype a teeny bit, though :D

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I’ve got no issue with E:D being E:D, and I’m hyped for NMS, but this is a lovely comment.

    • aircool says:

      Spaceman Spiff? Now there’s a game I’d love to play :)

  15. meepmeep says:

    E:D is a simulator in the vein of Euro Truck and not a game in the mechanistic sense. Bar some middling combat, there’s no actual meat to it in terms of developing behaviour or strategy against some form of constraints or rules. I agree totally with others who have described this as a lack of player agency.

  16. Sam says:

    Space trucking is the real disappointment to me because it so nearly works. Hauling beryllium isn’t innately exciting, but it could still be engaging. Euro/American Truck Simulator has just enough to keep you occupied while driving that it’s relaxing rather than boring.
    Truck Simulator has changing gears and keeping the correct road position. Elite has waiting for your jump engine cooldown, waiting for it to charge, and watching a loading screen.
    The docking (and planetary landing from the first DLC) is much better, giving you a relatively easy task that can still go wrong. But too much of your trucking time is spent literally doing nothing while you wait for a timer. The idea of playing that in VR without the ability to watch or listen to something else sounds like trapping yourself in a head mounted hell.

    • Kally D says:

      I’d advocate for a more interesting interdiction system to fix that.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Yes! The docking/undocking is a thrill. If they managed to curate that experience throughout it’d be a really engaging game. The whole ‘sit in supercruise and do literally nothing for 15 minutes’ thing is just bad game design; plain and simple.

  17. Silverchain says:

    I’m playing it right now. I’ve been on the Distant Worlds expedition (I left recently to pursue something else on my own, and it’s getting lonely out here), and it’s been great fun; regular in-game meetups to socialise, sights to see, a real sense of community and a small but present level of risk.
    The game has been steadily expanding and improving, so far as I’m concerned, and while it’s not by any means perfect I’m very happy with how it’s turning out.

  18. Professor Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer says:

    I think Elite Dangerous is a great gaming experience but absolutely not in itself or on its own. You have to play it a certain way and have the right attitude to get the most out of it, otherwise the immersion is broken and it doesn’t work. This guy knows what I’m talking about (Isinona): link to youtube.com. And the celebrity voice packs used with the Voice Attack software breaks up the monotony. It’s nice to have legendary Sci-Fi actors like William Shatner, Tom Baker, Paul Darrow and Norman Lovett narrating along in the cockpit, isn’t it? Check it out if you didn’t already know, since it isn’t mentioned in the article and everyone here seems oblivious: http://hcsvoicepacks.com

  19. BarryDennen12 says:

    I’d play it more but on the occasions that I’ve tried to get online at the same time as a pal, it’s been stubborn and finnicky to get working.

  20. Laurentius says:

    No, not being able to save and not having multiple save slots killed it for me.

  21. Pulstar says:

    No, no need.

  22. foszae says:

    Considering how badly they botched the space genre, i’m skeptical of Frontier’s ability to produce a fun game with Planet Coaster. ED has discouraged me so much i’m avoiding pre-ordering Coaster until i’ve heard an overwhelming set of reviews supporting it.

  23. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    After wasting 100+ dollars in backing and 100+ hours in playing this game with next to nothing in return (in terms of fun OR progress), I have spend a few months asking for more solo content, NPCs, savegames & pro-social life balancing for solo-exclusive players, a less ridiculous price for expansions etc etc, and of course in response I have been insulted, trolled, ridiculed by this game’s official community. Eventually gave up on this since its clear Frontier will not update the game anymore without asking for full AAA game price every year.

    I am relieved to see here that I am not the only one who shares my problems with this game. E:D has been one of my most disappointing gaming experiences.

    • yusefsmith says:

      This has been my unfortunate experience with their community as well. Not even criticism, just QUESTIONS about the game, has been met with accusations of ‘hating’, trolling, and insults.

      • Iamblichos says:

        ^^^ This. A million times this. The level of fanboi-rage for E:D is out of all proportion to the game that’s there. Don’t know why, don’t really care, but it’s an enormous turn-off for anyone trying to get into the game. Unless you think it’s the best game ever to be created, don’t go near the official forums.

        • slerbal says:

          Sadly forums in general seem to bring out the worst in people, but yes the E:D ones are particularly vitriolic and toxic :(

        • mishagale says:

          >The level of fanboi-rage for E:D is out of all proportion to the game that’s there. Don’t know why,

          I think this is quite common with kickstarted or early-access games. People who invested financially in the game also feel emotionally invested, and tend to respond poorly to (real or imagined) criticism of “their” game.

          • Hobbes says:

            I was a beta backer who turned critic due to the offline mess, and I can assure you, the people who defended Braben’s call to rip the offline mode were some of the most unpleasant people I’ve seen (outside of the TouchArcade types).

      • Zenicetus says:

        That’s a shame, since I don’t remember the community being that toxic during the Beta period. Maybe it’s the way the focus of the game has shifted so far towards multiplayer content, with the inevitable forum drama that goes along with it.

        • mitthrawnuruodo says:

          “Maybe it’s the way the focus of the game has shifted so far towards multiplayer content, with the inevitable forum drama that goes along with it.”

          Thats what I suspect as well. All single player gamers have more or less left after a few months since its clear Frontier do not give frak about them.

        • Minglefingler says:

          The multiplayer thing is a big part of it, there are a lot of idiots on the game’s forums who talk of “delicious tears” and a load of other bollocks along similar lines. There are also people who see any pvp as an affront and take to the forums with their righteous anger and talk of “sociopaths” etc. None of this is helped by Frontier’s poor system of crime and punishment in game.
          Within the Elite community you also have a lot of players who played the original and have over 30 years elevated it to such a degree that they can’t bear any criticism of the sequel they’ve been waiting so long for, conversely you also have a group of people who loved the original and hate Dangerous because it hasn’t lived up to the expectations they have for it and that Frontier helped create. This second group hang around because they can’t let go of a dream. Not the recipe for a constructive forum.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      No. No, I am sorry, but no. Whatever complaints you may have about the game – some of which I share – you played “100+ hours” of it. You cannot claim to have got nothing out of it, you got at least a hundred hours of gameplay. If you now feel that time was wasted, you possibly need to manage your own time better, but (with the exception of certain MMO practices or, I suppose, journalism) you will never get anything material back from playing a videogame. What you get is the time you spent. So if you spent 100 hours on this game, then whatever else you might be able to complain about, you certainly can’t say it didn’t give you anything.

      • mitthrawnuruodo says:

        Most of those hundred hours were spent as a tester, in case that was not obvious. It was useless since they completely ignore solo players, and conveniently left out all the features from their design documents that would make things more interesting in solo.

        And the rest was spent in a tedious grind hoping to get to some higher level ships and missions, which I hoped would provide some diverse experiences. But of course due to ridiculous MMO balancing, the progress was glacial and in the end it was just more of the same.

        May be the all total 10 hours out of 100+ was fun or novel. The rest was a waste of time. Not worth their ridiculous prices.

    • Asurmen says:

      They’ve said from the very start the model would be yearly paid expansions. Also not really sure how you can complain when you’ve put hundreds of hours in.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        “Also not really sure how you can complain when you’ve put hundreds of hours in.”

        Ah, the Steam effect. You got your hours out of it therefore zip it.

        I’ve apparently clocked 64 hours (surprised myself checking that!) and I won’t lie, I enjoyed some of that time! There were some fun moments. But in hindsight most of what I ‘enjoyed’ was chasing the next goal. It just pokes a part of the brain that likes goal chasing. ala World of Tanks. It’s just mobile phone game psychology. That’s not really entertainment, even if sometimes it feels like it. And ultimately I do feel my time was wasted in the game, a genuinely rare feeling for me (who wastes *a lot* of time in games).

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Yeah the thing with Elite, is it’s REALLY good at the start. Learning how to fly the ship for a start, getting to grips with the mechanics etc. Then you learn everything and…..that’s it. You hit a point where it’s just boring and repetitive and when you were expecting the game to really take off and become engrossing, it falls flat. This doesn’t happen within the first couple of hours, it doesn’t change the disappointment you feel when you realise how limited the game actually is.
          Did I get enough out of Elite, yeah, I guess it did give £30 worth of entertainment. That doesn’t mean I have to think it’s a good game though, it doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed with the game as a whole.

        • Asurmen says:

          Not sure what Steam has to do with anything, but if the game was that bad, er, stop playing it long before 100+ hours. That someone puts that much time into it, short of being a masochist, seems to indicate they got something out of it.

          • aepervius says:

            By steam effect he meant that if people see you got 100+ hours in your account as playing the game, they automatically dismiss any complaint you have. Which is the same some people did upthread.

            As for continue to play bad game : sometimes you just play more to justify a 40+ euro purchase. Or in the hope a more fun section appears later. And then there is also a skinner box effect, you psychologically hunt for those rat pellet, even if you do not enjoy it anymore. See mobile game example clickers.

        • mitthrawnuruodo says:

          Exactly. Most of my hundred was spent in testing before release… you know the time when they put all that fancy features (which were also present in earlier frontier game) in the design documents but conveniently failed to implement in the main game.

          The rest, as you said, was spent chasing the next goal i.e. the next ship or rank, hoping there will be new experiences to be had.

  24. fredc says:

    I figured a populated galaxy simply made sense – but I hadn’t entirely realised that this would make the main game a cutthroat universe of crime and punishment. I don’t have the kind of competitive nature (or, perhaps, simply the patience) that thrives in such a situation, and so my time in ED was so much shorter than I’d hoped.

    Alec, did you not realise that you can play in solo mode?

    I’ve picked Elite up and put it down a few times since release, but the problems I have with it are those outlined by posters above – basically, grind.

    I actually find little practical difference between online and solo. I had expected to be regularly vaporised by potty-mouthed 10 year olds, but almost invariably, if there are other players on the same server, they’re behaving themselves.

    I think it’s a great game engine, but perhaps Braben expected that his procedural universe would result in a game with a lot more complexity for players than actually exists. What it needs is something like a Wing Commander (at least…) style narrative to go with the great engine.

  25. aircool says:

    I really enjoyed the game at first; mining and trading along with patrolling the belts for wanted pilots.

    I was starting to ‘grok’ the whole idea of the game, realising I’d just scratched the surface.

    Unfortunately, there was ten times the square root of fuck all underneath. Follow that up with insulting DLC costing £40 for early access and a dune buggy, and the only thing I’d managed to scratch off was the thin veneer covering a stinking business model.

    Personally, I’d much rather have less of a simulation and more of an actual game… or at least something worthwhile. I enjoyed mining, but it was utterly pointless. I enjoyed trading until I realised that it had no effect on the economy.

    The biggest and most final nail in the coffin was the time sink called the Frame Shift Drive. All that effort at realism (except of course the gimped yaw of ships), and they can’t even be bothered to include an autopilot.

    Yes, your hyperspace computer can perform feats beyond the boundaries of known physics, but a simple C20 autopilot baffles even the most visionary of scientists.

    • Asurmen says:

      Can’t do autopilot when there’s things like interdictions and no time manipulation like in Frontier. They wanted you flying the ship, not the computer.

      I also don’t get your complaint about the business model as they said how it would work long ago.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        But that doesn’t fly (hehe).

        If they want you to be engaged during supercruise then you need something to do. Sitting there for upwards of 15 minutes (hell, even for 2 minutes) staring at the screen *just in case* you need to shake off an interdiction is not compelling by any stretch of the imagination. It’s baby sitting. And I find it hard to believe anyone could not get mind-numbingly bored of it after a couple dozen times.

        EVE doesn’t get everything right, but I think travel works a lot better; not because it’s quicker (often it’s not), but you’re actually interacting with stuff – especially if you’re in null – you actually need to jump using some tactics. With the bonus that if it’s a safe and easy flight you can go AFK and stick the autopilot on (still not generally advised…). So it manages to be both more hands on and more hands off. ED supercruise is like torture.

        • Asurmen says:

          Why do you NEED to have something to do when travelling from point A to point B unless it’s a massive trek, at which point, well, your choice to do it?

          • aepervius says:

            Because it is a game and it is supposed to be entertaining, and not wasting your time ridiculously doing nothing.

      • aircool says:

        You point your ship in the direction of your destination, set the throttle in the sweet zone then press the button to Supercruise. Upon reaching your destination, you press the button to exit Supercruise in the tiny window before you overshoot.

        That’s not gameplay, that’s just torture.

        As for the business model… risible. How can you have a beta for Elite Dangerous: Horizons (or Elite: Dangerous 2) then release it and have the cheek to call it early access. It’s not as if it adds any gameplay to the areas which need it.

        Plus anyone who things E:D is an MMO is having a laugh

        At least in American Truck Simulator I had something to aim for, such as starting a business. There was also stuff to do during transit.

        All in all, E:D had the potential to be amazing, but as so many people have mentioned, there’s no depth, even after a year of added development… no depth.

  26. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    This makes no sense, lack of offline does not equal no single player. Secondly, you can play this game online without ever seeing another player for weeks, there is no “cutthroat universe”. So overall I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about here.

    • Cinek says:

      Lack of offline mode means I can’t play solo when I should be able to play solo. Cutthroat universe == civilized space in online multiplayer mode. You can play without seeing other players if you go towards nowhere watching views. Brilliant, but it’s not something that appeals to the people. Hope that explains what he is talking about.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Yea agreed – like another poster upthread I have a suspicion that they encountered NPCs, not players. I’m not ashamed to admit that I thought I was in a bustling solar system the first hour or two I played – and then I spotted and actual player for the first time and realised the others were all NPCs.

      Seeing another player in ED outside of 1 or 2 solar systems is a special a occasion.

    • mitthrawnuruodo says:

      The solo mode is balanced for mmo players, 2000 hours of repetitive grind to even try all the ships or reach elite ranking. And the solo mode is utterly devoid of life, NPCs are bots with zero interaction, no savegames, you can not hire crew, you can not hire wingmen, the galaxy with 4 billion stars can essentially be summarized in 3-4 systems worth of content that has been repeated a billion times.

      So…. no solo mode is nowhere near the same as a proper single player experience.

      • aepervius says:

        Pretty much. That remind me of that MMO which they transformed into a single player mode, but changed nothing to the gameplay. Kingdom of amalaur. The first few hours were fun then it was repeating and grinding as hell.

  27. MeestaNob says:

    I wanted to get this, but their EA Sports-style annual release plan is completely off putting.

    • Cinek says:

      It’s not like these expansions add a lot of depth to the game anyway, they just make this mile wide, inch deep universe even wider. So you should be perfectly fine playing just the base game.

      • Asurmen says:

        Well, seeing as there’s been only one release from this season so far back in December, you really can’t make that statement.

        • aircool says:

          But that’s the point. One release since the games original launch and it adds nothing to the base game… nothing.

          Anything ‘exciting’ that happens still relies on sensor anomalies, something which is a frighteningly poor gameplay tool.

          A whole twelve months of development and all they come up with is the same shit but on a rocky landscape with a wheeled spaceship…

          …that’s still in early access.

          To be honest, the gameplay hasn’t really progressed beyond the original back in the eighties. Back then, it was a wondrous game, but thirty years on, that dog won’t hunt.

  28. Asurmen says:

    I have. I play it in bursts but I would get bored if I tried to play it constantly.

    Next update looks like it should be a good overhaul of things like NPC interaction and missions, and the Engineers giving a new mechanic to play with and customisation of your ship.

  29. Nicodemus says:

    While some of the criticism is fair it also has to be pointed out that comparing it to EvE is silly. EvE at it’s outset was even more bare bones than Elite was. So to complain that it has little to do compared to EvE is to ignore the many years of development that EvE has gone through to reach it’s state now.

    I still enjoy playing Elite but I also know that it should be played sensibly. If you login day after day and do the same thing you are going to find it boring. Could Elite use some more things in game, sure it could, and over time I hope to see them arrive. However to play as a casual game for the sheer enjoyment of it, ticks all the boxes for me.

    It has it’s flaws and I do wish they had done some things differently, but I’m prepared to give it some time to mature before I start to bash it. The game in 2 years time could be completely different from what it is today, just like EvE is completely different now from what it was at launch.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      “While some of the criticism is fair it also has to be pointed out that comparing it to EvE is silly. EvE at it’s outset was even more bare bones than Elite was. So to complain that it has little to do compared to EvE is to ignore the many years of development that EvE has gone through to reach it’s state now.”

      Hm, I mean, this isn’t not true – but EVE in 2007 (sorry, that’s my earliest reference) was still 100x more of a game (and I do mean game, the gamey stuff) than ED is now.

      Besides, ED isn’t an MMO, there’s no subscription, and yet it needs servers – so if the hope is that it’ll finally reach its peak in 15 years then we might need to realign our expectations.

      • Nicodemus says:

        I played EvE Beta into Launch. Missions were implemented, badly and broken, about 6 months after launch and didn’t get much better for a good 6 months plus. Bugs were constant. Mining was the one thing that could make you much money, as trading was near enough non existent. Yet mining was done by parking your ship in front of a rock and walking away for hours on end while your cargo hold auto filled.

        It was dull.. really really dull. Not even the combat was interesting. However over time it’s progressed to what it is now.

        Technically ED isn’t an MMO, but it has the trappings of one. They have already said there is a 10 year plan for updates. So, much like EvE the game in 10 years time may well look completely different than it was a launch.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          I really hope it does because I love the mechanics. However after delivering such a shallow experience there is no way they are getting me to buy any of these expansions for quite some time, until the general consensus is “this game is good now”. At which point all of those expansions will cost next to nothing.

        • Distec says:

          I’m not sure on the comparison to Eve. Eve definitely took a lot of time to get all the stuff it now has, but there are still few tasks that still couldn’t be considered dull or boring today. Exploration got a revamp, but it’s still tedious can-clicking. Sov warfare? Players like the strategy and propaganda, but hate the actual mechanics of that system. There’s Incursions, but the consensus among runners generally seems to be “Mute comms, get bored, make easy ISK”.

          What has made Eve special from its inception to this day are its social components and the players’ abilities to shape the universe. This unique pull is what allowed players to overlook the dearth of “content” in its early years and is probably the primary reason it still finds players today – regardless of whatever else CCP added in the meantime. All MMOs (or their lite versions) are chained to update cycles and releasing new content, but you are less so if your playerbase is able to produce its own entertainment. ED is potentially in a more troublesome position in terms of player retention because its avenues for pilots to “make their own fun” are so much more restricted.

          I also think its unfair to compare a 2014/2015 release to whatever was considered passable in an MMO from 2003.

      • rabbit says:

        I started eve in late 05. It was an absolutely brilliant game for the solo / small group player at the time & LEAGUES ahead of anywhere I can see elite being in the next 5 years.

  30. Hyena Grin says:

    I have a weird relationship with E:D. A big part of me loves it, and enjoys the time I spend with it. The immersion factor is just huge.

    Another big part of me doesn’t.. really want to play it that much, because it rarely ever feels like you’re actually accomplishing anything. The missions pay a pittance and take ages to complete, while hunting pirates for bounties pays stupid amounts of money. There’s just never a good reason to do missions once you have a decently armed ship.

    You can’t build anything, despite the galaxy being enormous. You can’t even rent or own space in the world with which to call your own. How much better would this game be if you could gang up with other players and build/maintain space stations, industry, NPC ships to defend your home space, NPC miner fleets, etc? But no, beyond your ship it’s hard to get a sense of investment.

    The game’s economy feels lifeless even if it is simulated to some extent (I’m not sure how much), because we can’t actively participate in it beyond moving goods around. Common good trading is absolute nonsense. Rare goods trading is a cookie-cutter procedure of googling a few stops and making the same run ad-nauseum.

    And yet despite all of that I still feel an urge to defend it. Maybe it’s just that wonderful feeling of launching into the beautifully ambient space, of gliding over an alien world, etc. These are great experiences, but they don’t make a game.

    I guess a big part of me is hoping that over time, with ‘season’ expansions, the game will gradually turn into something I genuinely want to spend a lot of time in.

    Right now though, E:D is a space that I visit from time to time, just long enough to satisfy an urge to immerse myself in space.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Exactly, that’s what should have been in the game. Building installations, making stuff to sell, processing raw materials etc etc. I’m playing a bunch of Black Desert at the moment, those are the sort of mechanics that Elite needs in it. Send out workers to gather, use your installations to produce whatever. PLAYER driven economy to facilitate all of the production and trading that you do etc etc.

      • Premium User Badge

        keithzg says:

        Even just the level of interactivity and player agency the old Escape Velocity games offered would be an improvement; it’s sad that so often we inevitably get one or the other of features and graphics, and so as experiences in games get more and more viscerally entertaining the actual underlying worlds behind the sheen perversely become simpler and less detailed.

    • Chaz says:

      Yeah this kind of sums up the game for me too. I am still massively hooked on it even over a year later. Yet all I really do is grind dull missions to up my rep to buy a bigger ship with which I can make more money to buy better things for my big ships. Partly this is my own doing anyway as I actually do like the space trucker gameplay and I’m much more a trader/explorer than a combat pilot.

      Even so, all the content such as it is, is all RNG’d pap right now. Stack 5 or more missions and it turns into a circus, with swarms of these randomly generated NPC’s all bothering you, it’s nuts! They say missions are getting a major overhaul in the next big patch, but I’ve heard this before and all they’ve done is tweak the current missions a little bit. Hopefully this time they really take note and give the missions a good kick up the arse. Personally I’d scrap them and start again from fresh. Certainly the planetary POI’s need a complete redo. They should be spotted from orbit and then flown down to, as the current setup is just ridiculous.

      Despite all that, it still manages to captivate me with an amazing experience. It really gives you that feeling of flying around in space. Flying by past planets and huge ringed gas giants never really seems to get old, and flying down on to planetary surfaces can be pretty amazing. The ships are great too and really give you a sense of place, having Track IR certainly helps and I can’t wait for my VR set to arrive.

      I can hardly wait for being able to walk around inside the ship interiors to be put into the game, but I know that’s probably not going to happen this year. And in all honesty they really do need to concentrate on the game content first. Hopefully in the next year or so it will become more and more fleshed out. I have my eye on Star Citizen too, but I think there’s still a bit of a long haul to go yet before either of these games start fulfilling their potential.

  31. Psychomorph says:

    Don’t like the game, hate the developer.

    Frontier are scumbags. They put Horizons up on their store and some time later they re-label it as “Deluxe Edition” and only after that begin to offer an upgrade to Horizons if you already own the game.
    No proper description, just ripping off money like that. Absolute scum. Didn’t think I’d need to “re-buy” the game each season when I bought it already once for quite a steep price.

    The game and this scumbag developer are history for me. I played the Star Citizen all ship week – much better combat, MUCH better flight system (feels actually like space), better and less annoying sounds, game looks photo-realistic and not like a cartoon.

    Elite is an Xbox space game, it’s controls are built around a controller. It’s shallow and boring. Most fun thing I enjoyed is driving the SRV on planets, which is why I bit the bait with Horizons, but no more.

    Stay away from it, it’s far more entertaining if you just watch YouTube videos of it.

    I should end this rant now. :(

  32. edna says:

    It worked for me as a £10 purchase. I’d probably even say that it’s worth it at the current £20. I got the fun of the first few hours and I hung around for a few more, to see if I got hooked into the trading or piracy angles, but it started to feel pointless so I let it go.

    To some extent I think the frustration comes from the sense that there should be something deeper and more engaging in the game. But there isn’t really. So what looks like one of the deepest possible games (millions of planets, thousands of players, economy and piracy) ends up being one of the shallowest in the end. So it’s something of a shame, but still well worth it if you take it for what it actually offers as opposed to what it looks like it could be.

    • Premium User Badge

      keithzg says:

      Yeah I’ve been eying it up as the game to play once I get a VR headset; it sounds like the engine and the experience it delivers in an audiovisual sense is quite impressive, and I know from articles like this (and the comments sections thereof) that I might be gravely disappointed if I expected more.

  33. Potocobe says:

    I can’t understand why there aren’t any aliens to encounter? Why can’t you build or buy your own space base? Secret, hidden asteroid bases a la Independence War 2? If it’s secret, then no one knows where it is but me and then you don’t have to show it to everybody in the game. Just me. But no, you can’t have more toys to play with in this giant empty sandbox.

    The decision to make this game a P2P multiplayer game with not one single reason to play it in multiplayer just boggles my mind. My only encounter with another player (and I always played in the multi servers) ended up costing me a lot of money. I escaped only to run out of air staring through my shattered cockpit at my designated landing pad which was a mere 400 meters away. And it was great. Not that I wanted that to happen again but the tension of the dog fight and my escape was very fulfilling. I was always on alert for other players but rarely saw them. I almost always played in a wing with a friend who got the game at the same time and I rarely saw him either for what it’s worth. They could have done the multiplayer over IP and made an amazing single player game. I really hope someone figures out how to make a flying around in your very own starship simulator a more compelling experience than reality would seem to imply.

    • Chaotic Entropy says:

      It’s about as shallow of a space game you can find as soon as you look beyond the cockpit.

  34. tkioz says:

    Brought it a while back, got about six hours played on it then uninstalled it. It looks lovely, but I just can’t get a grip on it. The controls were just beyond me, couldn’t get to stations, couldn’t get into combat most of the time, and when I did I couldn’t even get a shot off.

    The learning curve was insane and frankly not worth putting up with.

    I know, I know. I’m a soft scrub who doesn’t deserve to play your perfect game.

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      This is how I feel about Crusader Kings II which breaks my heart because I so desperately want to enjoy the intrigue I frequently read about.

      Ironically, I didn’t find a learning curve with (the original) Elite: Dangerous at all. All seemed fairly logical to me in terms of moving the ship around from system to system.

  35. Alberto says:

    I wonder how difficult is to hire a few scriptwriters to create some arching and interesting stories. Settlers looking for astronomical data to stablish a new colony, people looking for clues about lost ships and missing people, double agent missions to get the trust of a lawless local power and double-cross them…

    If I can think of a few, a paid scriptwriter can create a bunch of different stories to find.

    Maybe it’s because I’m playing New Vegas, a perfect example of good writing covering every flaw of a game.

  36. aepervius says:

    “but I hadn’t entirely realised that this would make the main game a cutthroat universe of crime and punishment”

    Maybe next time really read the complaint of people. That and it was a sure fire sign they would concentrate on MP interraction.

  37. B0GiE-uk- says:

    Went back to playing elite yesterday. Started doing some smuggling missions. Got pestered by scripted NPC’s at every jump. Got interdicted by police right before my destination, not a hope in hell of getting out of interdition as it went right off course (more scripted behaviour to get me interdicted) tried to run and boost away and still got scanned. All missions failed after putting about 4 hours play into getting myself that far.

    Frustrated to the max.

    Uninstalled it.

    Not a fun game.

    Graphics 9/10
    Sound 9/10
    Gameplay 0/10

    Frontier, your game sucks.

    I’ll check back after the big new patch, but not expecting any improvement.

  38. helen16 says:

    3″my roommate’s aunt scored 4224 dollars a week on the internet . She has been unemployed for 7 months but previous month her revenue was 14462 bucks just at work on the MacBook for some hours…PA%78

    ——-> http://www.PayAbility.Tk

  39. Premium User Badge

    Jekadu says:

    Elite: Dangerous is one of those greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts kind of games for me. None of the individual activities — exploration, mining, bounty hunting, trading, missions, planetary exploration, etc. — are particularly deep or compelling, but the freedom to just do whatever you want somehow makes it work. One day I’ll be charting inhabited space and hauling light cargo, the next I’ll be hunting rival Powerplay faction NPCs with a friend, then the day after that I’ll be kitted out for heavy-duty mining and heavy trading to collect some capital so my friend and I can go on a deep-space expedition together. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game this intensely, to the point that I’ve completely ignored every other game in my library (aside from Fallen London, which I play whenever I’m making a particularly lengthy in-system journey).

    Elite: Dangerous is very good at being a modern Elite game. It might not be great at being a modern game, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s alright.

    • chrish619 says:

      Elite: Dangerous is very good at being a modern Elite game. It might not be great at being a modern game, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s alright.

      My thoughts exactly. This wasn’t a game targeted at all players, and try to appeal the COD, or even EvE-Online / WoW players.

      This game was developed with the intent of being a further evolution of the “Elite” game, and with that the “Make your own story” has never been truer.

      During my own “Open” play experiences, I have encountered PvP / griefers, but the “tainting” of this has been more due to my ISP, and they’re wonderful down/up speeds (and crappy copper core).
      At which point, I suck it up & fight it out — then usually reclaim insurance, and go to Solo play (haha)

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      I haven’t played ED, but this is all i ever think about when i read through these threads. Does anyone actually remember Elite? The original Elite? Nothing fucking happens. The most exciting bit of the whole game is trying to dock with a space station, prior to purchasing a docking system. You fly here, you fly there, you buy some stuff, you sell some stuff, you shoot a guy, you shoot an asteroid, you collect some stuff, you sell some stuff. That’s the whole game. You can’t even buy a new ship. Not to say that gaming shouldn’t have progressed since 1984, but it’s not like this was ever a title known for its deep storyline, complex crafting or multiplayer economy – it was the ultimate single-player space sandbox. And it sounds like it basically still is. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • Marr says:

        The original Elite was crammed into a 2MHz 64kb computer, that’s less than 1% of a Raspberry Pi. It had unfathomable depth compared to the typical games of 1984. It’s 2016 now, and what they’ve built and plan to charge through the nose for doesn’t live up to the improved Acorn Archimedes version of Elite from 1991, let alone Frontier and First Encounters.

        You know what does live up to them, despite its zero budget? link to oolite.org

  40. Zorrito says:

    Can’t think of many games that have been built in such a strange way as Elite. I still like it, but only because I take regular breaks from it when the placeholder bits get too annoying.

    I’m hopeful that the proper mission pass dropping in June is going to make that ‘offline’ aspect of it stronger. On the PvP end it’s a shame that the silo-ed off Arena mode doesn’t have more players, as it is a damn fine use of the flight model when you get a balanced match.

    If it survives, it could become several good games all in one over the years. As it stands, it is primarily a vibe fest though, it’s true.

  41. melnificent says:

    I was a beta backer… when Offline was promised. The little I played was enjoyable but empty. But it was a beta, then they announced dropping offline mode and I tried to get a refund.
    The RPS interview with braben (link to rockpapershotgun.com) was very softball on the offline removal. Especially coming a month after the brilliant Molyneux interview.

    There was a protracted fight between people that wanted refunds and Frontier, it came to the first rumblings of legal action for them to actually issue refunds. It was never as polite or easy to do as has been made out at the time or since.

    On the plus side, I learnt some more about UK law, Letters Before Action, small claims court and how they relate to people in other countries too… EU is fairly simple, others are harder.

    • Hobbes says:

      And I got to meet the above poster and make a friend, which is the one blessing I got from this entire mess. As for Braben and co..

      .. they can burn in chemical fire, which is on fire, and made of fire, with fire.

  42. Chaotic Entropy says:

    Well… this isn’t exactly a sterling endorsement. It’s a barren skybox effectively.

  43. Professor Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer says:

    So let me just check… nobody here cares about William Shatner narrating the latest HCS Voice Pack for Elite Dangerous? Wow…

  44. chrish619 says:

    So, ED, primarily is targeted towards space/flight SIM enthusiasts. — Even if they do have to invent special “physics” (I’m looking at you FSD) to make it actually playable.

    As a game, it supports mouse & keyboard, and Xbox 360 controller play. Although I’d highly recommend using a HOTAS, and the keyboard. Not much different from any other flight SIM… (no, really).

    Yes, dropping of offline play did manage to get quite a massive dose of attention. It may have been promised at the Kickstarter, but sometimes to make other features work, and meet deadlines, a call has to be made – Yes, offline was dropped.

    Although FD did, apparently, give everyone refunds to those who hadn’t logged in, downloaded, or played the Beta (although I’m aware some people did have issues).
    Ultimately, you need to be connected to receive updates / new content, even download the client – tbh, this isn’t the ’90s (or ’00s) anymore; you can no longer get your patches from FilePlanet; GameSpy is dead.

    However, ultimately, we now have 3 play modes:
    * Solo – “I don’t like playing with other people”
    * Private Group – “I only like playing with friends”
    * Open – “Ooh, let’s see who we can get killed by today..”

    Yeah, I have played my fair share of game time with ED. And still agree, that even though you have planetary landings / exploration to a billion stars, the story driven content is fairly lacking. And there is no player story (e.g. IWar, X-series)
    However, like most of the ED players, and there is quite a few (steam), I mostly play it for the combat (PvP or PvE). Or yes, the grind for a Federal Corvette (sweeet).

    Considering that the ED Kickstarter was launched around the same time as SC, at least we have a fully playable game.

    Yes, the lack of a persistance/player owned objects is a down side, but afaik, this was never promised – and this would more than likely involve a subscription fee, probably even the removal of options for Solo/Private modes, and yet more crowd throwback – What would be the point in defending player objects, if they could be “stealthed” by Solo/Private players?

    Granted, the scope wasn’t nearly as ambitious as SC, but the intent was to introduce a new Elite, and recreate the universe as realistically as possible within ED. And might I remind everybody that space is big?